Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 12616
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Botticini , Maristella.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: A Loveless Economy? Intergenerational Altruism and the Marriage Market in a Tuscan Town, 1415-1436 [The author sees dowry as a marriage payment and as an intergenerational transfer; the statistical data that the author gathers argues that the larger the bride's contribution (in youth, status, etc.), the smaller her dowry; large dowries were given by al
  • Source URL: Journal of Economic History (Full Text via JSTOR) 59, 1 (March 1999): 104-121. Link Info target = '_blank'>Journal of Economic History (Full Text via JSTOR) 59, 1 (March 1999): 104-121. Link Info
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Cadastres Cortona, Tuscany, Italy Dowries Economics Marriage Parents
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Census and property survey; Florence State Archives, Catasto 213, 214, 215, 216, 252, 253, and 254.
  • Illustrations:
  • Table: Seven Tables. Table One summary of statistics of marriage in Cortona, 1415-1436. Data includes values of dowry in florins, groom's age, bride's age, household wealth for the groom's and bride's families, number of children in the groom's and bride's households, and percentage of daughters in the groom's and bride's households. Table Two Proportion of women marrying up or down in wealth and occupation (brides from peasant households). Table Three Proportion of women marrying up or down in wealth and occupation (brides from nonpeasant households). Table Four Size of dowries in Cortona, 1415-1436 computed for a sample group and all contracts, giving both the mean and median. Table Five Estimates of the dowry function. Table Six Dowries to sisters of the same household marrying brothers of another household. Appendix Table One Sex ratios (males/females) in Tuscan towns, 1427. Figures are also provided for the countryside.
  • Abstract: This article examines the role of dowries and highlights the variables that affected the size of dowries in fifteenth-century Tuscany. The estimation, which matches the households found in the marriage contracts with the corresponding households in the Florentine Catasto of 1427, offers support for the present net value hypothesis and for the altruism model. Results indicate a positive correlation between a bride's dowry size and her age when used as proxy for her contribution to the marital household. Parents also provided their daughters with larger dowries when they married "down" into relatively less wealthy or socially prominent households. [Reprinted with the permission of Cambridge University Press.]
  • Author's Affiliation:
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1999.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00220507
  • Material/Technique :
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